Woodland Birch Bark Cake Tutorial

Woodland Birch Bark Cake  – made with butter cream / frosting


This buttercream or frosting cake is beautiful on its own and also makes a great background for an intricate sugar craft sculpture like my woodland mouse, meringue mushrooms or sugar ferns.

(In my darker moods I might even add a chocolate axe and some forest fruits blood to make it a Halloween cake….)

LEVEL: Pretty simple


  • 2 x 6” cakes – sliced into 4 layers
  • Syrup
  • Buttercream/frosting
  • Paste colour dark brown
  • Spatula
  • Turntable
  • A narrow brush and a wide brush



  1. Once your cakes are baked and cooled, split them and soak with sugar syrup
  2. Birch Bark - Stacked Layers of cake and buttercreamStack them with layers of buttercream
  3. Birch Bark Cake - Crumb coated and stacked cakesCrumb coat and place in the fridge or freezer until the buttercream has set.
  4. Birch Bark Cake - Palette knife ringsNow add your final layer layer of buttercream allover but don’t get too precious about being smooth – its good to have a barky, uneven texture. Mix some brown gel colour with cooled boiled water. On the top of the cake add brown gel colour with a wide brush while slowly spinning the turntable to give a bark edge circle. Blend in with the small spatula while again spinning the turntable. Now spin slowly while carving some rings in with a bladed tool like a spatula or a cocktail stick. Make them unevenly spaced and slightly different depths for a more interesting texture.
  5. Birch Bark Cake - Carve heartThe crack on the top, the heart & name graffiti are carved into the buttercream right down to cake level so that the darker sponge shows. Extra depth of colour can be added into these cracks with gel colour on a paintbrush
  6. Birch Bark Cake - Paint slashesNow to add the distinctive birch bark pattern – a turntable is really helpful here. Using brown gel colour with cooled boiled water and a narrow paint brush spin the cake slowly while adding short and slightly longer dashes around the cake. This is buttercream and not fondant so it is not a simple painting stroke; you have to either dab your brush into the surface or carefully pull it around on the surface to avoid pulling the buttercream off. Don’t worry though its easy to repair any mistakes by pushing it back into place.Add the bark eyes in the same way with a brush and gel colour and mess it up with a palette knife/blade to give it a chunky texture.

Voila! A pretty simple, very effective (and way tastier than fondant) cake.

Now you can add ferns, my mouse, or mushrooms for a more elaborate woodland scene.Birch Bark Cake - Finished off with sugarcraft mouse